Director's Corner: Lieutenant

When Eric and I pondered the idea of doing a play like the one you are watching today, we were only worried about your delicate sensibilities for a moment, because we trust you. Yes, you, sitting in that red chair. We trust you for many reasons.

First, we trust that you will find the humor in all the darkness. We want you to laugh. We really do. We also want you to be uncomfortable while you are laughing. This is what watching a Martin McDonagh play is often all about- laughing in the face of gore and political incorrectness.

We trust that you will accept that this play has no great political message or deep philosophical undertones; it’s a snapshot of an absurd situation caused by the fear of an extremely awful person. Sometimes you have to laugh at the craziness that can happen in life, even while being completely horrified.

We trust that sometimes, as an audience, you don’t want to attend a show that is pretty to listen to or pretty to look at, but, instead, want to see something beautiful in its violence and depravity even while being cloaked in the mundane. These characters lead boring lives and have boring conversations, and their only reprieve is the insanity that eventually brings them all together. This is the genius of the playwright- these characters care more about their animals then they do for each other.

We trust that occasionally you want a story that is complete. McDonagh leaves no loose ends. Every character’s fate is etched in stone, as it were. We know from the beginning who Padraic is, what he intends to do, and the depraved way he intends to do it. Knowing this, it almost makes the blood and gore easier to take, because we know someone like Padraic would absolutely do what he ends up doing.

Finally, we trust that you will adore the sharp wit McDonagh hides in the simple statements his characters make. It’s in there, and Eric and I dare you to find it. As Donny says, “Many’s the time I trampled on my Mam when she was alive. After she died, I stopped. There seemed no sense.” You will walk away saying lines like these, and giggle to yourself, and, hopefully, admire McDonagh for it.  Just like we do. 

-Daena Sisk, Co-Director